Sunset descends upon Victoria, as seen from the Ogden Point breakwater. (Black Press Media file photo)

Dark name-sake legacy not a factor in Ogden Point rename, says harbour authority

Peter Odgen had a reputation for violence, indicted for murder

The cat’s out of the bag says Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority when asked if Ogden Point would be changing its name.

“It’s tough to keep a secret in this town,” he says.

Ogden Point will be officially renamed the Breakwater District on Sept. 18, a move Robertson says will create a better sense of place than the old name.

READ ALSO: Feds help fund $6.8 million Ogden Point extension

“As I talk to residents and visitors, they’re not certain what part is Ogden Point — where is it, what are the boundaries — but when we talk about the breakwater, everyone knows what that is,” Robertson explains.

Ogden Point was originally named after Peter Ogden, a decision made long before Robertson’s time with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

Ogden was a fur trader and an explorer born in 1790 with an “unenviable reputation for violence,” according to the Canadian Encyclopedia. In March 1818, Ogden was indicted for murdering a First Nations trader — “butcher[ing] in the most cruel manner,” reads the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

READ ALSO: Hundreds gather at Victoria City Hall after removal of Sir John A. Macdonald Statue

The dark history surrounding the name, which Robertson says came to their attention while researching alternative names, had no influence on the decision to rename the breakwater.

Following the official unveiling, people will begin to see the signage around Ogden Point change to reflect the new name, although Robertson says the name might not change for everyone.

“I’m quite certain that from a marine navigation perspective, it will always be called Ogden Point and we’re okay with that,” he says.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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